Council of Churches writes Dole: Your ad is "appalling"

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The N.C. Council of Churches stands by Kay Hagan, who is after all an elder of one of its biggest member churches. Its letter to Sen. Dole:

The North Carolina Council of Churches does not endorse or oppose candidates for political office, and neither you nor Sen. Hagan should construe this letter as taking a position about the outcome of your race. The Council has, however, called for greater civility in political discourse, and we cannot remain silent when you challenge the beliefs of faithful fellow Christians and suggest that a leader in one of the state’s oldest and largest denominations doesn’t believe in God.

Full text below.

October 30, 2008

 

Senator Elizabeth Dole

Dole 2008

PO Box 2629

SalisburyNC 28145

 

Dear Senator Dole:

 

We are writing to deplore as strongly as possible your recent thirty-second television advertisement and the extended but similar piece from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, suggesting that your opponent is “godless” and concluding with the words “There is no God,” which the viewer could easily believe are being spoken by Sen. Hagan. As you no doubt know, Sen. Hagan is a faithful and active member and leader in the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro. To say or even to suggest that that outstanding congregation has chosen a lay leader who doesn’t believe in God is appalling and should be offensive to churches and church leaders throughout the state. And, as we learned from this morning’s News & Observer, other participants at the “godless” fundraiser in question included Sen. John Kerry, whose membership in the Roman Catholic Church is pretty well known, and Ambassador Swanee Hunt, who began her theological studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and graduated from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, a United Methodist seminary.

 

The North Carolina Council of Churches does not endorse or oppose candidates for political office, and neither you nor Sen. Hagan should construe this letter as taking a position about the outcome of your race. The Council has, however, called for greater civility in political discourse, and we cannot remain silent when you challenge the beliefs of faithful fellow Christians and suggest that a leader in one of the state’s oldest and largest denominations doesn’t believe in God.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rev. Sèkinah Hamlin

President, North Carolina Council of Churches

 

Rev. J. George Reed

Executive Director, North Carolina Council of Churches

 

cc:       Sen. Kay Hagan

            Heads of the Council’s thirty-three member bodies

            Presbytery of Salem

            First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro

            Newspapers in RaleighDurhamGreensboroWinston-SalemHigh PointCharlotteAshevilleFayettevilleGreenville, and Wilmington

 

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